Toll-Like Receptors

Annual Review of Immunology

Vol. 21:335-376 (Volume publication date April 2003)


The innate immune system in drosophila and mammals senses the invasion of microorganisms using the family of Toll receptors, stimulation of which initiates a range of host defense mechanisms. In drosophila antimicrobial responses rely on two signaling pathways: the Toll pathway and the IMD pathway. In mammals there are at least 10 members of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family that recognize specific components conserved among microorganisms. Activation of the TLRs leads not only to the induction of inflammatory responses but also to the development of antigen-specific adaptive immunity. The TLR-induced inflammatory response is dependent on a common signaling pathway that is mediated by the adaptor molecule MyD88. However, there is evidence for additional pathways that mediate TLR ligand-specific biological responses.